Contextual factors are extremely important in shaping decisions about health systems, and policy makers need to work through all the pros and cons of different options before adopting specific health systems guidance.
A division of labour between global guidance developers, global policy developers, national guidance developers, and national policy developers is needed to support evidence-informed policy-making about health systems.
A panel charged with developing health systems guidance at the global level could best add value by ensuring that its output can be used for policy development at the global and national level, and for guidance development at the national level.
Rigorous health systems analyses and political systems analyses are needed at the global and national level to support guideline and policy development.
Further research is needed into the division of labour in guideline development and policy development and on frameworks for supporting system and political analyses.
This is the second paper in a three-part series in PLoS Medicine on health systems guidance.
Lavis, J. N.; Røttingen, J. A.; Bosch-Capblanch, X.; Atun, R.; El-Jardali, F.; Gison, L.; Lewin, S.; Oliver, S.; Ongolo-Zogo, P.; Haines, A. Guidance for Evidence-Informed Policies about Health Systems: Linking Guidance Development to Policy Development. PLoS Medicine (2012) 9 (3) e1001186. [DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001186]